Is your dog suffering from a food or skin allergy? How can you tell if allergies are affecting your dog? If your dog is uncomfortable and chronically troubled and you suspect allergies, it’s best to get to the bottom of the problem as soon as you can.
Your dog may be allergic to his or her food, although it takes time to make that diagnosis. Usually, a veterinarian will put a dog on a food elimination diet to determine if he or she has a food allergy. That means the dog spends eight to ten weeks on a special hypoallergenic diet. If his or her clinical signs improve on the hypoallergenic diet, he or she is then challenged with the original diet. If the dog is truly allergic to his or her food, there will be an increase in clinical signs, such as itching and inflamed skin. If these appear, further testing will be needed to determine which specific ingredients trigger the allergic symptoms.
It has been estimated that up to 15 percent of dogs suffer from skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis. Allergic reactions often lead to skin inflammation, and the most common sign of allergies is scratching. Signs generally occur seasonally, but can extend throughout the year. Environmental contaminants, such as dust and mold, can cause allergies in a dog.
Your veterinarian can help diagnose and determine the best treatment for your dog’s allergies. Schedule a visit to determine the cause of your dog’s discomfort
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